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a group of “spiritual Christians” (dukhovnye khristiane), a religious sect in Russia.

The sect of the Molokans evolved in Tambov Province in the late 18th century and then spread to a number of other regions of Russia. Its founder is considered to be Semen Uklein, originally a member of the Dukhobors. The Molokans rejected the church, the church hierarchy, fasting, icons, and the Eastern Orthodox ritual of worship. Their prayer meetings were held in houses of prayer, and the sect was led by presbyter-elders. Biblical texts were sung at prayer meetings.

The Molokan movement was one of the forms taken by the peasant anticlerical movement. It arose in the atmosphere of the growing crisis of the feudal serfholding system. The forms of worship showed Baptist influences. Having challenged the official church, the Molokans were persecuted by the tsarist government. A process of social stratification among the Molokans and the emergence of a wealthy elite and its usurpation of authority within the sect led to the corruption of the sect; a number of its members joined the Baptists. In the early 20th century, there were 1.2 million Molokans. The sect began to disintegrate after the October Revolution of 1917. Only small groups of Molokans remain in the USSR—in Transcaucasia, the Ukraine, and a few places in the RSFSR (such as Stavropol’ Krai and Tambov Oblast).


Druzhinin, V. Molokane. [Leningrad] 1930.
Bonch-Bruevich, V. D. “Sektantstvo i staroobriadnichestvo v pervoi polovine XIX v.” Izbr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.
Klibanov, A. I. Religioznoe sektantstvo i sovremennost’, Moscow, 1969.
Malakhova, I. A. Dukhovnye khristiane. Moscow, 1970.
References in periodicals archive ?
THIS VOLUME comprises thirty-seven letters from Molokan sectarian writer Fedor Alekseevich Zheltov to Leo Tolstoy, never before published, along with fourteen letters from Tolstoy to Zheltov (included in the Jubilee Edition of the Complete Collected Works of Tolstoy), all written between 1887 and 1909.
Although they preferred the term Spiritual Christians, they also used the term Molokan, which could signify not only their liberation from Orthodox tradition but also their commitment to the pure spiritual milk of God's word (1 Peter 2:2).
Voronin had been a member of the Molokan sect, an indigenous Russian sect with Quaker-like beliefs.
Shirley Perry, also of Doukhobor origin, shares her love for Doukhobor singing and her findings from a study of Doukhobor and Molokan songs in "The Importance of Song in Doukhobor Life.
There are a handful of small Molokan communities in the Southland, but a large Jewish community on the Westside will make keeping a kosher diet easier.
The third contribution on a Russian theme comes from Margarita Mazo, whose tracing of developments in the liturgical music of the Molokan Christian sect both in Russia and among the expatriate Molokans in the USA is only very loosely connected with the themes of this volume.
Claiming to be an elder in his own sect of the Molokan faith, in which some members believe that the second commandment against graven images forbids making pictures of individuals, Stackler sued the DMV to require that a license be issued to him without a photo and that it be renewed.
See his "Prayer and the Politics of Place: Molokan Church Building, Tsarist Law, and the Quest for a Public Sphere in Late Imperial Russia," in Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia, ed.
Miller notes the demographic and cultural vitality of the Hutterian Brethren throughout the period as well as the ongoing communal beliefs and practices of Swedenborgian and Molokan religious assemblages.
11) As Molokan leaders took advantage of religious tolerance, they, along with other non-Orthodox religious groups, contributed to the emergence of a confessionally and ethnically diverse public sphere in late imperial Russia.
Verigin," and "Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Novikov"--are most helpful, as is Zheltov's summary of Molokan beliefs outlined in his treatise "On Life as Faith in Christ," reproduced in full in this volume.